Of all the irresponsible obstruction engaged in by the GOP over the last four years, none is as glaringly reprehensible as the Republican campaign to block reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. As Vice President Biden pointed out, three women are killed every day by domestic violence in this country, but so far that reality has been no match for Republican objections to increased protections for gay people, immigrants, and Native Americans in the bill.
Today, the bill passed the Senate by a vote of 78-22, over the opposition of Republican senators including Marco Rubio, supposedly the GOP’s savior when it comes to marketing the party to women and people of color. But as today’s vote makes painfully clear, the challenge for Republican rebranding goes far beyond insensitive rhetoric; it includes the dangerous fealty to a radical, right-wing agenda pushed by the Tea Party and abhorred by just about everyone else.
As for the Violence Against Women Act, the bill now faces an uphill climb to be passed in the House of Representatives, so while the Republicans there insist they’re interested in moving beyond “social issues,” the legislation continues to languish. And women continue to pay the price.